Gardening 2017 #1: Beginning of a New Season!

Spring is finally here! And those showers are definitely soaking up Montreal and the sun is hiding away under those thick clouds and its mostly overcast when its not raining. Either way, when we finally caught a break from the rain over the weekend, I headed out for a few hours to tend to the garden. One mission was to see what was coming back and what didn’t. We had a particularly harsh winter, well, mostly because of that crazy storm in early March or end of February or something. Regardless, the garden looks decent. Still, pretty dead but things are mostly coming back.

Flower Patch in the front garden

Rose bush

Crimson Star

The front patch here is doing quite well. As usual, we have some perennials that struggling to come back. I’ll have to look into figuring out whether its zonage or whether its just the ground isn’t fertilized or just weather issues. Whatever it is, a good bit of this patch is back. Chrysanthemums, Crimson Star, Lilies and some flowers my mom gave me that I don’t remember the name of. The rose bush is back. Tulips are here. Its all looking really nice. We’re still waiting to see if the violets are going to come back. My guess right now is that it won’t, no signs yet. Still keeping our fingers crossed though.

Raspberry & Strawberry patch all cleaned up and pruned!

I finally got around to cleaning up and especially pruning my overgrown raspberry plant.It might not look it right now but I’ve actually trimmed it quite a bit and got rid of some of the spread that it has in anticipation for the lilies to be moved after the blooming season to somewhere it can thrive better. The strawberries are doing great as well and we already have bunnies sitting in our yard waiting to eat them before it even flowers. Those fearless bunnies are my biggest garden issues and why we have gone into planning vegetable garden fence mode. Unlike last year, where we realized too late and had to just wing a fence that actually worked remarkably well. Except this year, we want to add a little space and a decent trellis.

I guess its time for the vegetable garden update. Note that I didn’t have time to clean up this patch yet.

Rhubarb

Shallots

Vegetable Garden covered in broccoli buds….Yikes!

I’m missing at on of pictures because I got shocked by ALL the broccoli growing out of my vegetable garden. Apparently, when I didn’t have time to close the garden and left the plant there, all the seeds just grew out and now I’m stuck with this situation. However, my mom and Phoebe (aka Starry Traveler’s Road) has agreed to take some and we might put some in containers but they need much more space than that to grow so I’m guessing some of them will just naturally die off and not survive the pretty odd weather we’re having. Moving on from broccoli though, the rhubarb is doing fantastic like every year and last year, my mom gave me some shallots and they are growing fine also and pretty much ready for harvest.

As for things without pictures, my thyme seems to show signs of growing back. I was worried since I moved it pretty late in the season and it was getting pretty chilly. The asparagus is also back. On the side note, the echinacea which we planted last year is also back. It lines the fence mostly because it is a herb, looks pretty and apparently bunnies are fans of them so it was also to fend off neighbor cute pests. Its nice to see them back also.

Plans for this year

  • Raised flower bed (for butterflies and bees)
  • Another garden for Blueberries (and other edible food)
  • Some more restructure and sturdier fencing for vegetable garden

Do you garden? What flowers or veggies do you like to plant?

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My Weekly Adventures: Gardening and Something New!

Weekly Adventures seems like a good place to address why things have been a little off schedule. Thing is, my backlog I had built is depleted. I’m rebuilding it right now but the reason is that these last two weeks have been so busy with just preparing the house for the new season, mostly gardening, that I haven’t sat in front of the computer.  And when I do, I fall asleep.  Energy level is just not there.  Honestly, I needed to reassess a few segments and give it all a new direction and organize a few little other things.  Still, its been busy even if posts are up in the morning as I usually would like them.

These last two weeks haven’t been exactly eventful.  It has been but I already talked about the Ottawa Race Weekend. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE! Other than that, there’s mainly a lot of gardening and just a little bit here and there.  This will be a shorter post (unless I ramble and I’m already doing that…).

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden

This isn’t the updated version two weeks later now but when I first planted it that day, this is what it looked like.  What do I have here? Cucumbers, Asparagus, Leeks, Okra, Kale, Lettuce, Zucchini and Eggplant. If you were looking at the updated version, well, the lettuce is almost all eaten but the neighborhood bunnies sadly. I’m trying to figure out a way to remedy that problem with fences. And somehow the cucumbers, at least some of them, either got uprooted by the heavy rain or it got pulled out and dried out in the hot weather so I only have two (and one half dying) still there. Other than that, everything seems to be doing good.  My zucchini is by far the strongest, followed closely with asparagus and broccoli. Although, maybe the asparagus won’t count because I need ot at least take care of it for 3 years before there is any harvest.

I’ll give you an update on the vegetable garden soon periodically! I spent a lot of time in here and even my friend helped me out a lot by getting the rest of the grass removed.  There’s still some grass on the side but there’s a soil issue that we’re trying to figure out.

Herb Container Garden

Herb Garden

Here’s my little herb garden I’m working with. I actually have a Chamomile and a new Rosemary inside which I don’t have a picture of. These ones are Italian Oregano, Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Sweet Mammoth Basil and Boxwood Basil. They are looking lovely so far. I actually just was reading up on the Pineapple Sage and it said that it had a pineapple smell on the leaves which I never realized and it does! 🙂 That is so cool!

Mosquito Repellent Container Garden

Mosquito Repellent Container

I kid you not! My patio is going to be mosquito repellent everything soon. Actually, I tried a similar container like this and it was pretty good.  Last year, I didn’t and I was just mosquito buffet. This has Geranium Citronella, (my dying) Rosemary, Lemongrass and Marigolds. The rest of the marigolds is planted in the container on the ledge of the patio.

Marigolds

Flower Patch

Flowers

This is also not reflective of what it is now. My crimson star is blooming a lot yesterday. The addition here is my new echinacea and my husband’s violet. We also ended up getting some lily of the valley in our path unexpectedly. I suspect its because of my neighbor’s patch. My mom gave me some flowers that are growing and hopefully will have buds eventually. Things are looking good.  I added some new top soil so it looks healthier now. Its going to be a slow process to get some new top soil for everywhere, including the grass.

We have a few yard projects this summer so I’ll keep you in the loop as to what else is going to come up. This year’s goal is to make my garden beautiful and thrive (at least a little bit more than before). So far, its going well!

An Amazing Belated Birthday Surprise

Did I ever tell you that I have the most amazing best friend in the world even if she is sporadically vanishing because of her busy schedule and she lives provinces away from me right now? She flew in to be my bridemaids for the wedding back in October and completely surprised me last week when I came home to a package on my front door. I thought it was my husband’s but it turned out to be Amazon Fulfillment Service and I opened it up and this is what I got!!

Blue Snowball iCe

A New Mic for podcasting! I’ve been saving up for a new mic for a while now.  A lot of new gear to get the gaming and podcast quality to go up. Lots of upgrades needed and I’m trying to get it done little by little. I was using the mic on my webcam and it feels like its slowly dying. So this is amazing! And you know what this also means, her support for my passion for this new thing I’m doing! I’ve thanked her a thousand times and she knows I appreciate this so much.

I guess its fair to say that a lot of people in my life don’t understand how I’m still blogging and spending a lot of time doing this. I’m not earning anything from it and it all seems like a hollow and unrealistic dream/hobby that is just expensive at times. Fact is, I like doing this and I hope to improve enough to be more and its nice to know that one more person, especially one of my best friends understands that.

Cute Kitty Moment

cat

Upcoming:

  • Next round of Netflix A-Z
  • Baking Through Disney
  • Book reviews
  • TV Binges

Have an awesome day, my lovelies!
This week is going to be super relaxing as I create some sort of backlog! Enjoy! 🙂

Happy Year of the Fire Monkey! :)

Happy Chinese New Year~! 🙂

We’re stepping into the Year of the Monkey today in Chinese tradition.  Spring has arrived in the lunar calendar and we welcome it with a lot of traditions.  We spent most of the weekend tidying the house and making sure that we’re all set for a fresh start in the New Year! This is the first year I’m spending Chinese New Year living at my new house away from my mom.  We had to put together a bit of decorations to hopefully bring some good luck.

Here’s a bit of the decorations around our house and some of the Chinese New Year celebrations and we’ll end with a 2016 New Year video.  Its in Cantonese and its a ton of good luck wishes but yeah, its fun to watch even if you don’t know what its saying. And well, Hoi-Pang Lo is one that you’ll recognize if you watch Hong Kong movies. 😉

I know its more flowers than anything but its really lively and I love having them there.  We have a few of those hanging decorations.  I just didn’t want to bore you with how they are everywhere as well as those lucky slogans.  We have 3 of those around the house. As for the orchids, they opened just in time for the New Year.  The timing couldn’t be any better! 🙂

Dinner

Dinner

Chiense New Year

Year Cake

Rice Balls

Dessert

Heading over to my mom’s for dinner is always awesome! I think my mom makes the best food ever so what more can I say? Plus, we had the Superbowl playing in the background which I talked more than I watched but the halftime show was fun.  I thought it did the 50 years justice.  Bruno Mars was a great special guest and its great that they had him because well, he got judged so harshly back when he did it a few years ago that having him back gives him justice that he is definitely a great performer. Plus, Coldplay is always great! 🙂

Happy Chinese New Year from my family! :)

Happy Chinese New Year from my family! 🙂

And now for the song! 🙂

Have a great day, my lovelies! 🙂
It may be Chinese New Year but expect another post this afternoon!

My Weekly Adventures!

Instead of boring you with my little details, this time, I spaced it out deliberately to two weeks.  I had nothing to report back with so it just makes sense to get this in now with a little bit more activities. This time around, its slowed down quite a bit.  I’m trying to clear up my schedule a little and just relax, catch up on some sleep and find back some energy.  Plus, I need to get ahead with the blog so its all a work in progress. We are also trying to get the house in order and looking nice enough for any relatives that come and want to visit 😉

1) Second visit to Poutineville

As mentioned in the last Weekly Adventures, we went on our second visit and I met even more of my fiance’s friends.  Crazy stuff, eh? This wedding, I tell you. Its making life colorful.  And I mean, his friends are really colorful like their personality and their thoughts are hard to catch up with.

Anyways, I finally had the poutine at Poutineville.  Its not so much real as I wasn’t sure about the gravy so they suggested the Italian meat sauce instead. Its kind of what we call Michigan-style (instead of hot dogs, we have fries and cheese).

Poutineville

Chicken & Bacon Poutine with Dairy-free Cheese and Meat Sauce

Then, like the last time, a visit to Chocolate Favoris.

Chocolat Favoris

Gelato choices

Sorbet choices

Sorbet choices

chocolats favoris

Ice Cream with Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Dip

chocolats favoris

Banana Mango Strawberry Sorbet

Its turning into something of a tradition.  I just might want to refrain from Poutineville for the next few weeks until after the big day. So that, all my hard work is not put to waste, right?

2) Nike Re-Run

Last weekend, Nike Running app sent me an email telling me that on Saturday, a run that we did would give us the chance to have a Nike Re-run video.  Now, that sounds awesome and what’s great about having this blog is I love trying out new little things.  So, I got in an afternoon run on Saturday even though I was so not feeling like it.  But I did it and kept to my workout goals. I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t get it because the run wasn’t all that great.  My time was a little meh. But on Sunday, I ended up getting the email prompt to get the video.  We got to choose the time log and pick whichever one.  My routes are more or less the same.  It varies in direction, side of the street or going through the park or whatever small streets.  I actually need to map out a new path to explore the other side of the new neighborhood I moved in.  Still, here is what I yield.

That is my fastest time I’ve done so far. I haven’t quite beat that time yet as an average.

http://nrcre-run.nike.com/us/en_us/nrcre-run/shared/0a8b587cc02123dd6fb2a56cc3af1f4e/1

Oh right, and I run against traffic because it feels safer for me and the lights don’t change when I plan on crossing the road or whatever.  I just like to run with as little interruptions as possible. On a side note, a few days later, I ran my fastest km…but still, this is my best average pace.  Lets hope it improves 😉

3) Quantico’s Set

If anyone is interested in seeing the new series Quantico, they have been shooting in Old Montreal right in front of the old Royal Bank building. They had done filming on and off for 2-3 weeks at least.  It looks really impressive and my guess is that its going to be the series headquarters or something.  The series already has me intrigued.  Its right up my alley of what I usually watch for TV series and with it being filmed so nearby, it has me even more interested 🙂

wpid-20150904_173433.jpg

4) Vist at Seigneurie de l’ile d’Orleans (and some spontaneous stops)

We bought a voucher for a visit to this garden at l’ile d’Orleans a while back and its edging near expiry and we even missed the peak season to see the lavender gardens but we did buy it so we took a little day trip out to l’ile d’Orleans and visited a rather green garden 😉  I apologize but I only have my fiance’s pictures.  My pictures haven’t quite made it in the computer yet. However, I will be doing a full post on this if the pictures do turn out good.  I think I did some artsy stuff playing with the focus and whatnot. Not sure how it turned out.

Seigneurie de l'ile d'orleans

seigneurie de l'Ile d'Orleans

L’ile d’Orleans in summer is definitely different from winter.  It was full of people.  We did end up stopping at a newly opened La Nougaterie which is a place that I love which makes amazing soft nougats.  Apparently, they just moved to this location for two weeks and I caught it completely spontaneously.  We bought some little nougats and had some tasting.  If you haven’t tasted these nougats, you have to.  I look forward to getting it at the arts and crafts show for their Christmas flavored one.  Its like heaven in my mouth.

The last stop we made before we left was at Cassis Mona et Filles which is a winery that focuses on blackcurrant wines and liqueurs.  They have a really awesome recipe using one of their Fruité liqueur and the syrup based one along with club soda and fruits that makes THE BEST sangria I’ve ever tasted. We, of course, got that. They also sell some more dry wines like their Port.  I almost couldn’t swallow that one because it was rather dry.

5) Garden Updates

Its almost time to close the gardens but we had a surge of heat wave and my plants are all confused.  Its good though.  We’re getting our big batch of strawberries and raspberries.  I’m considering to get a blueberry plant for next year.  I have a bit of space next to all these berries but it might not work so well because sun doesn’t hit that corner as much.  Anyways, next year’s projects aren’t anything to discuss now.  Look at those strawberries and raspberries 🙂

Raspberry plant

Raspberry plant

STRAWBERRY

Strawberry plant

Confused plant doesn’t get any more than my clematis.  It has the hardest time staying alive in that spot.  I was starting to think about moving it again but didn’t know where just yet.  Then the heat wave hit and its having a ton of buds.  I sure hope the weather holds up so that it can bloom.  I haven’t seen one flower bloom on it yet.  Better late than never, right? 😉

Clematis

Clematis

Finally, we are seeing signs of the fall chrysanthemums coming out.  Its budding and about to bloom.  The big one is from the previous owners and my little ones last year, only one survived but its more than enough with whats there now since the marigolds are still blooming.

Fall Chrysanthemum

Fall Chrysanthemum

6) What’s Next…

  • Netflix A-Z: I-L movies (next two weeks)
  • The Classics Adventures: book review and corresponding movie review
  • Alaska Cruise: Day 5 & 6
  • PRIORITY: Baking Through Disney: recipe & next movie

That’s it for this time’s Weekly Adventures! Short and sweet! 🙂
Happy Friday, my lovelies! Enjoy your weekend!

Gardening (& Home): Spring is Here!

Not like I don’t have enough segments, I’m going to add one on gardening.  I think that this blog might head into some home stuff since my house is a huge focus of my life right now.  Living there gains a whole lot of perspective in having a million things to do. At times it can feel overwhelming but I’m up to the challenge.  I’m in my second week officially moved out and I’ve really wanted to use this opportunity to put a fun element of that here, now that I’ve finally seemed to gain some regularity to sleeping.  Kind of.  Energy levels are going up and there’s still a lot to do and I’m taking baby steps to get them done.

Spring has been long-awaited and last year, I already talked a lot about my container gardening progress with a little help from one of my friends.  She’s off to have a baby really soon so I’m pretty much alone this year to start the season.  First task on hand was getting the garden ready and this past weekend proved to be extremely efficient.  I cleared all the flower beds from dead leaves and pruned some perennials and all that lovely stuff. I even turned  a little bit of the soil and planned out how I’d like the garden to go this year. Planning is the first step, right?

I’m not sure if I’m behind with sowing seeds but seeing as my tulips and daffodils are just growing now, not even flowers yet. I’d say I still have a bit of time. Except for these ones..

wpid-20150419_160549.jpg

While flowers were scarce, we’ve been decorating our den with some lovely flowers like this.

wpid-20150329_140846.jpg

I’m proud of my den because while my books didn’t quite fit completely in the shelf there, this room is super awesome from the color of the walls to the simple decor.  Out of all the rooms, I think this one is the closest to be done.  Well, the office is pretty good too once I sit down and set up my PC.  I’m just too lazy to backup my laptop who reminds me everyday that it might just about die on me…scary thought.

The first week I was there, I sowed some broccoli, basil and cat grass. Unfortunately my basil has shown no sign of anything.  I think maybe the seeds aren’t good anymore.

broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

Cat Grass

Cat Grass sprouts

I had to elevate my cat grass from the bay window before my cat destroyed it before it was even worthy of her eating it.

Plus my calla lily made it through the storage season under my care with a lot of help from my mom giving me pointers.

Calla Lily

Calla Lily sprouting

The sole survivor from last year that looks miserable the whole winter took one shot of root booster to be filled with flower buds are my pink fuschia.

fuschia

Fuschia

Joining this one is my mom’s gift which is a yellow orchid. She claims orchids don’t need sunlight but just light in general so the bay window is perfect for it. I’m not exactly sure it’s that easy.  I’ll stay optimistic.

wpid-20150422_072930.jpg

Especially since, the boyfriend went and got me another pot of orchids for my birthday.

orchids

I love orchids.  I just don’t know how to take care of them.  In my mind, they are extremely hard to sustain.  I’m going to have to start reading up on it a little.  I do hope that it will blossom again after this time.

That’s a little update on my new living environment and introducing my gardening segment.  If it holds up, I’ll add a little menu spot for it 🙂

My next gardening update should include sowing more seeds, probably carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and perhaps sweet peas for container gardening indoors.

Do you like to garden? Have your spring bulbs sprouted or bloomed yet? What do you like to grow?

Happy Chinese New Year!! Its the Year of the Sheep!

Today is Chinese New Year! Although I’m not the cook when it comes to these things because my mom is the boss.  I just felt like I should share some Chinese New Year decorations.

Since I’m STILL in the midst of moving to my new place.  Final moving date set for March 1st tentatively….but I’m set about 80% positive it’ll happen because I’m plain sick of having my life divided into two.  This year, I had to take care of flower decorations for both places 😉 Sad thing when Valentine’s Day is around the same time is that its incredibly hard to find flowers so I couldn’t find the lilies that I wanted and this year, our flower selection is different from previous years.  Change can be good and it still works out good 🙂

Lets start with my own place’s decorations.  Not quite as abundant and it was taken with my smartphone.

Sorry for the poor lighting.  I didn’t play around with it too much on my phone. Next year, I’m going to get a little more decorations and have earlier prep 🙂

Moving on to my mom’s place,  I didn’t put all the decorations because its literally EVERYWHERE! But here’s a few pictures from last night taken with my DSLR.

Flowers

Flowers

Now to wrap up the post, last night’s Chinese New Year Eve dinner with dishes including fish, lotus root, chicken..all having their own good meanings.

Chinese New Year Eve Dinner

Chinese New Year Eve Dinner

Like always, my mom makes the best meal! It was so yummy! 🙂

That’s it for now!

Happy Chinese New Year!

May the Year of the Sheep bring you lots of happiness, awesomeness and success. 

Psst..another Oscar review coming up in the afternoon! Remember to check back! Appreciate it! 😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo. – The Daily Post

I’m not exactly sure how to approach this topic to believe in but I took the original post’s inspiration and worked on looking up pictures with different scale/size relationships.

Not so much to say about this one but, search up the hidden objects here? Should be pretty apparent 😉

butterfly field

Butterflies and yellow flowers

squirrel and fence

Squirrel on the fence

ducks in a river

Ducks on a River

kungfu with kids

Martial arts session with kids

real and fake cats

Cats: Real vs. Fake

insect in flower

Insect in flowers

bees in flowers

Bumblebees and purple flowers

What do you think? On topic or off topics? I started losing track of contrast and scale after a while.. Haha! Still, some pictures for your enjoyment!

A little break from the Valentine’s Marathon, which is only returning tomorrow for a finale! But I’ll have a nice little Valentine’s themed post in the afternoon 🙂

Happy Friday, my lovelies!